§ Mr. Sanders
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent scientific advice on cetacean bycatch she has received; and if she will raise this advice at the forthcoming Council of Fisheries Ministers. 278W
§ Mr. Morley
The Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) is continuing to advise this Department on the levels of cetacean bycatch in the fisheries on which it observes, and on mitigation measures. SMRU will shortly be restarting trials in the south west bass fishery to establish whether suitably modified separator trawls can reduce the bycatch of small cetaceans. I have already drawn this work to the attention of Commissioner Fischler and the French Government. I will share the full results with them and other EU Ministers when the results are available.